THE GRITTY GO-TOS: What are some of the go-to designs that beach goers re-create, visit after visit? For sure, someone often gets buried in damp sand, up to his or her neck. Oftentimes a sandcastle is the favored structure, one with bucket-shaped turrets and a little bit of kelp for a flag. And writing one's name along the place where the water meets the earth -- or, more commonly, the name of a loved one, complete with a heart -- can be admired in countless Instagram photos. But what of the snowman made of sand? We'd call such a creation a sandman, though the Sandman occupies a different corner of our fantasies and dreams (so we'll let him be). If you've never rolled out a bottom and torso and head for the classic flake-and-ice figure at a beach, you can change all that, and swankily so, by booking a stay at The St. Regis Monarch Beach. The Dana Point luxe resort has a just-in-time-for-the-holidays package afoot, one that rocks a glittery sprinkling of seasonal cred. It's the Winter Sandy-Land Package, and not only does it start with "(a)ccomodations in a recently renovated Signature Guest Room," but it goes on to loop in lovely holiday stuff like milk and cookies delivered during the nightly turndown service and a kit to build a sandy snowman right on the property's own private beach.
FUTURE CARD SNAPSHOT: Could your sweet Mr. Santa Snowman snaps make it onto the front of your holiday greeting cards next year? Or maybe even in 2015, if you book early enough? The offer is good through Dec. 30. Oh, and you'll be well-fortified for all that snowman-building you do; daily breakfast is comped, as are your children's meals during the day. It all kicks off at $245 a night. But how will your friends in colder climes react to seeing you posing with a sandy snowman on a sunny beach? They'll probably be tickled.
THE PROPERTY, do note, is currently undergoing a big spiffy-up (read: renovation), so even if you don't opt for the holiday-themed package there are deals on rooms to be had. What do we mean by "deals"? The rates start at $195 for the swanky ocean-close stay-over (and they, like the renovation, won't last forever).